The Basics Of Time Management
Time management is defined as the organization and planning of how to divide your time between specific activities. The point of effective time management is making sure you work smarter, not necessarily harder. Failing to manage time efficiently will cause you stress and hurt your business in the long run. Even though it is not a very difficult concept… without proper organization and prioritization, it is hard to do in practice. I hear people saying all the time that they don’t have enough time in the day. It may feel that way but the reality is that we all get the same 24 hours.. So why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer is effective time management. They have built a system where they get more done in less time. There’s no doubt that time is one of our most precious assets. Once we lose it, we cannot get it back. We must learn and discipline ourselves to budget our time like we budget our money. So with that being said, here are a few tips that you can immediately implement into your daily routine to make your lifestyle a little bit easier.
● Use a planner!
○ Write EVERYTHING down. Create a to do list. this will help you organize your thoughts. Yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. It helps to write down and visualize your goals. All of the most successful in the world can attest to this.
○ Make sure you have a notes section in your planner for quick access. This will come in handy if you’re on a phone call and need to write a phone number or email down. Carry it with you everywhere you go. It’ll make your life so much easier, I guarantee it.
○ Cross each task out as you complete them for continuous motivation.
○ Plan tomorrow, the night before. Even to the extent of writing down the specific timings.
● Wear a watch! ○ This is a simple but very beneficial trick. You will always have the time on your mind without having to pull out your phone.
○ Keep a clock close by. Next to your night stand, in the shower, in your office. Be aware of the time the sun rises and sets. This is how you train your body to wake up and sleep on time (but lets save this topic for another blog post).
● Batch similar tasks together
○ Create a system, be effective and efficient.
○ I personally do a few quick phone calls while I’m on my commute. I found this to be easy to handle while I’m sitting in traffic (don’t text and drive, use bluetooth!).
○ Prep meals, iron your clothes, and do the little tasks the day before. It takes a few minutes and will speed up the mornings tenfold.
○ A lot of time management books claim that you should do the hardest tasks first. I don’t know how effective that is since sometimes client meetings or work responsibilities are later in the day. But you should definitely try to figure out and efficient system. Example. Wake up early before everyone is awake to have some alone time, workout in the mornings when the gym is empty, shower after your workout, eat a healthy breakfast to keep you motivated and energized throughout the day… See, that’s a simple workflow and system so you’re not wasting any time
○ Eliminate time wasting tasks (why would you watch netflix while trying to do your homework, that will slow you down and divert your attention)
● Be decisive.
○ Decisiveness is an important characteristic of a leader and is described as the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively.
○ Nobody likes double minded people. Make a decision, stick with it. Listen to your gut, your first instinct is usually very accurate. If you make a bad decision, recover quickly and grow from it. You’ll get better with each decision and will learn what works and what doesn’t.
○ Limit your options. Narrow it down to the two best. Try to make a decision under a minute.
○ Remember: indecision kills. Time is money and wouldn’t waste your money would you?
● Learn to say NO.
○ Don’t be a people pleaser, you’re not here to make everyone happy. Keep in mind that you do not need a reason to say No.
○ Establish your personal boundaries. The people you surround yourself with should understand and know your intentions. Don’t fall victim to unnecessary persuasion techniques.
○ Be swift and firm. Respond to requests as quickly as they come in. You can say no thank you and move on with your day. There’s no point in wasting anyone’s time or yours.
● Prioritize and delegate.
○ Whether its in business or at home, evaluate what tasks need the most attention. If it is something that can be outsourced. Do it. If you need a website or headshots for your business, would it be smart to learn how to code or buy a camera and learn editing? No. In this case it might be smart for you to pay someone to do it right the first time, so you can focus on your business.
○ Balance, work life balance. Use the reward system. Take mini breaks when you need them during the day to recharge and refocus. Take lengthy breaks away from work at the weekend, in the evening and on holiday to help you stay productive long term.
○ Plan ahead, don’t play checkers … play chess.
Most people claim they are busy. But busy is just an excuse. It doesn’t matter how full your schedule is. Have you accomplished everything on your to do list? Do you have time to sit at home and watch netflix? If you answered yes to the last question, then you are not busy. Either way, the point is not to be busy but productive. Productivity is the key. I know people that are full time students, work 2 jobs, are involved in student organizations, AND maintain a social life. Or entrepreneurs that have their own business or two, have investments they need to keep track of, consistently find time to learn and perfect their skills AND take care of their families. This is where time management plays a significant role. Actually it would probably be more accurate calling it lifestyle management. All these tips can be incorporated into your lifestyle to make it as efficient and effective as possible. My team and I consistently study the greatest influencers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and subject matter experts and we have compiled these tips as the most common practices. By implementing these proven techniques you can maximize your potential and cut out any time wasting activities. Once you see that you have the ability to finish any task set out in front of you you will be as motivated as ever. It’s all about how you prioritize and effectively knock these tasks out on a daily basis.
Remember: everyone has the same 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. How will you spend yours?